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CSUF Comm Students, Alum Pitch in to Help Local Biz

Students and recent graduates at California State University-Fullerton’s College of Communications quickly put their expertise to work to help small businesses when the pandemic hit.

About 50 volunteers from the school have logged some 800 hours helping local mom-and-pop businesses with their communications strategies in a bid to help keep them afloat during the downturn.

The program, aptly named Tuff It Out in a nod to CSUF’s Tuffy the elephant mascot, is being led by the college’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).

The roster of businesses currently being served by Tuff It Out are restaurants Bollywood Zaika in Redondo Beach, La Ranchera in La Habra, and Wood Cafe and Revolucion 1910 Mexican Grill & Cantina, both in Fullerton. There’s also Mission Viejo screenprinter Creations by Design, Fullerton cheese shop Let It Brie and Fullerton retailer Roadkill Ranch.

Nine teams made up of five students were assembled to help the eight businesses. The volunteers, none of whom are being paid or receiving course credits, consist of upper division CSUF students and recent graduates.

The graduates lead each team, with all of the work overseen by four CSUF PRSSA executive board members.

The program’s even nabbed the attention of Food Network star Robert Irvine (“Dinner: Impossible,” “Worst Cooks in America” and “Restaurant: Impossible” a few of his credits), who offered his own expertise to the volunteer group during a one-hour Zoom meeting to discuss the restaurant clients.

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